ITV Press Office

The role has gone to transgender actor Ash Palmisciano.

Emmerdale has announced that they have cast their first ever transgender regular. Ash Palmisciano will be taking on the role of Matty Barton, the son of long-running character Moira Barton.

Viewers of Emmerdale may remember Matty as Hannah Barton, who appeared in the soap between 2009 and 2012. However, since Hannah’s departure from the village, he has transitioned into Matty.

Palmisciano’s first scenes, which are set to air later this month, see Matty knocked out by Cain Dingle, after he is mistaken for an intruder. However, Moira defuses the situation when she recognises him as her child.

On the character, Emmerdale’s producer, Kate Brooks said: “The character of Matty certainly knows how to make an impact: cheeky, effervescent, quick-witted and headstrong, it’s not long before he’s charmed his way into the affections of all those who meet him.

“His tale of a man trying to shake off his past and find acceptance in the present is full of emotion, humour and ultimately hope as he settles back into rural village life, turning Moira’s world upside down in the process.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Ash on board to play this role. A skilful actor of great talent, he exudes charisma and there’s an unflinching honesty to his performance that adds real depth to this complex character.

“Ash has already proven himself to be a brilliant addition to the cast and we look forward to charting his journey as he reconnects with old friends and forges new relationships along the way.”

On his casting Palmisciano said: “I’m very excited to be joining the very welcoming Emmerdale family. From nervous auditions to now working alongside the team daily has been truly amazing. Matty’s a ground breaking character to play and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for him.”

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